Main research question
Need for Nuts (NAN) aims to identify and facilitate the potential of Flemish walnut and hazelnut cultivation and processing, within the framework of the Flemish protein strategy. Local nut cultivation can contribute to the protein strategy, namely increase the supply and diversity of locally produced protein-rich food products. In addition, nut trees in the landscape can provide numerous ecosystem services such as biodiversity and carbon storage. In NAN, steps are being taken both at the cultivation level and at the economic level to stimulate the potential for a Flemish nut chain.
First of all, a market study is carried out on the current consumption of walnuts and hazelnuts (and derived products) whereby the chain is mapped, quantitatively where possible. At the same time, monitoring of relevant parameters such as yield is carried out on a number of plots. The protein content and other relevant quality parameters of different varieties are analyzed. Possible business models are described, quantitatively where possible, and an action plan for 'Flemish nut growing' is drawn up. Throughout the project there is communication and dissemination in various ways.
The intended result is to increase and open up the potential of a local chain for nut cultivation, processing and consumption (of walnuts and hazelnuts). The consumption of certain segments of walnuts and hazelnuts (and/or derived products) that are currently largely filled by foreign supply would be partly replaced by Flemish nuts. This fits within the Flemish protein strategy, which aims to diversify the supply and consumption of local proteins in a sustainable way.